OAKLAND -- Oakland, at least for now, won't be allowed to get rid of its court-appointed police monitor despite accusations that he made sexual advances against City Administrator Deanna Santana.

In a two-sentence order issued late Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson denied the city's request "to bar all communications" with the monitor, Robert Warshaw.

Henderson's explanation for his ruling was filed under seal. It's unknown if it includes any opportunities for the city to continue pursuing to sever ties with Warshaw.

Mayor Jean Quan declined to comment on the ruling.

City attorneys had filed a motion last month disclosing that an investigation was underway into potentially damaging allegations against Warshaw, a former police chief in Rochester, N.Y., and deputy drug czar in the Clinton administration.

While the city quickly withdrew the motion, conceding that it contained confidential information that shouldn't have become public, sources alleged that Warshaw had once taken Santana's hand and told her she looked "stunning."

The accusations threatened to complicate hearings scheduled for Henderson's courtroom in December to consider placing Oakland's police department under federal control. The department has so far failed to fully implement reforms spelled out in a 2003 settlement, approved by Henderson, that settled the Riders misconduct case.


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As monitor, Warshaw is responsible for evaluating the department's progress. His most recent reports have faulted police for stagnating on several tasks, all of which were supposed to be completed four years ago.

The city would be unlikely to win any appeal of Henderson's ruling, said UC Hastings College of the Law professor David Levine. Federal appeals judges, Levine said, "would be pretty unlikely to be willing to intervene at this point because it seems like it's something so wholly in Judge Henderson's control."

Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6345.